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Pathing in 'Age of Empires IV': Flow Fields and Steering Behaviors


Creating a real-time strategy game with hundreds of units moving across an ever-changing battlefield, as opponents construct and destroy buildings and walls, requires a robust and efficient pathfinding system. This presentation walks through how Age of Empires IV combined flow fields, hierarchical A*, and steering behaviors to deliver fluid and cohered unit movement across a dynamic world. Going into details on dealing with different terrain types and unit sizes, the optimization strategy and new features that were developed for each of these base systems, and the implementation nuances and gotchas the team encountered.

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